Other People

It’s always about “other people,” isn’t it?

When we judge, we act like we alone are uniquely above any criticism. Everyone else is the problem. We’re the solution. 

We all do it, even those of us who try to be aware of it

Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Words to life by right? 

Yes. But this isn’t a command to never judge–take a look at the next part:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

–Matthew 7:1-2

In other words, be very careful what you say to others. And don’t be a hypocrite. 

Of course, evil should be judged harshly. Or things that can lead to evil. But don’t be so self-righteous to think yourself immune from this, or bristle when you get the same treatment from others. 

To many, evil is subject to interpretation. I tend to stick with immutable principles like those given by God, but your mileage may vary. 

So that’s evil. But what about stuff you disagree with? Or that you just find silly or annoying?

What about other people’s habits and mannerisms that just irk you?

“They do this, they do that, they just piss me off!”

But maybe it’s not them. Maybe it’s you.

If what other people do doesn’t affect you, or isn’t evil or doesn’t lead to evil, who cares?

In other words, pick your battles. Make them worthy of your time, energy, and judgment. 

As with most good things, though, this is easier said than done. 

I fall into this all the time. Social media makes it easy. 

Mockery is fun. Ridicule is a coping mechanism. Complaining lets off steam. 

But I wonder: What do people say about me and people like me?

Probably stuff I would object to as untrue

Exactly what other people say. 

Someone has to be right though, don’t they? Something has to be true and the other false. 

Usually. 

I know we’re a divided nation, and that’s fine. There needs to be a contrast between different ideas and their consequences. 

This is why my maxim is to attack ideas and not people.

Sometimes I don’t live up to my own standard. Sometimes I fall short. But life is about getting back up, dusting yourself off, and trying again.

That said,  some behaviors are incompatible with and unacceptable in civilized society. 

I happen to think some ideas are evil and do lead to evil ends. I’m curious enough to try and understand other points of view even though I disagree with them. 

And then there’s run-of-the-mill ridicule. It’s difficult not to indulge in this. Ideological warfare is still warfare. Skirmishes need to be fought before bad ideas metastasize. What is good and true needs to win out. 

Of course, other people have different ideas of what is good and true. 

The important thing is to know that what you do will be used against you.

Expect it. 

Embrace it. 

Develop a thick skin and be firm in your convictions. 

If something you believe in doesn’t measure up to your objective standards of right and good, it’s not a hill worth dying on. 

When you do judge, if you are defending true principles, you will avoid the dark stench of hypocrisy. You may ruffle some feathers, but you won’t be just another troll

And remember: You are the other people to other people. 

We are the other people
We are the other people
We are the other people
You’re the other people too
Found a way to get to you . . .

Do you think that I’m crazy?
Out of my mind?
Do you think that I creep in the night
And sleep in a phone booth?

Lemme take a minute & tell you my plan
Lemme take a minute & tell who I am
If it doesn’t show,
Think you better know
I’m another person

–Frank Zappa, “Mother People”

Follow me on Twitter @DaytimeRenegade and Gab.ai @DaytimeRenegade

And check out my Instagram here

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